My typical cleaning schedule goes something like this: I tell myself I need to clean, cringe every time I see my dusty baseboards or spotty mirror, procrastinate for several more days, then embark on a marathon whole-house cleaning session that takes all day. It’s not the most efficient approach to cleaning, I know, and I’m trying to do better. But the thing is, I don’t want to invest a lot of time and effort into scrubbing, dusting, and vacuuming. I want my home to be clean, but I don’t really want to work hard at it if you feel me. To appease both my lazy side and my need for clean, there are a few cleaning hacks I use to essentially trick myself into cleaning. Sneaky, but highly effective. Consider this the lazy girl’s guide to keeping your house clean, with minimal effort required.
1. Bundle cleaning tasks with everyday activities
Cleaning likely isn’t something you want to include in your daily to-do list, but it’s easy to work it in when you pair it with another everyday activity, like washing your face or taking a shower. When you finish your skincare routine in the evening, for instance, use a damp washcloth to wipe down the bathroom sink and countertop. You could also keep a cleaning spray in your shower so you can spray it down each day as soon as you step out. By attaching the task to something you’re already going to do, cleaning becomes almost automatic.
2. Use cleaning to pass small bits of time
Got a few minutes before the delivery driver arrives or your dinner finishes up in the oven? Instead of pulling out your phone to waste a few minutes on TikTok, pick a spot to clean, such as your kitchen sink, TV stand, or entryway rug. Be sure to choose a small task that will truly only take a few minutes. When you sneak it in amid the rest of your day, you don’t really feel like you’re cleaning—you’re just passing some time.
3. Stash cleaning supplies around the house
Make cleaning as convenient as possible by storing cleaning supplies in multiple places around your home. For example, I keep a container of cleaning wipes, some glass cleaner, and a roll of paper towels under my bathroom sink. That way, I can clean the mirror or countertops as soon as I notice they’re dirty, without having to traipse downstairs to gather up the necessary supplies. I also keep a small stick vacuum on the second floor to trick my brain into thinking, “Why not do a little vacuuming? It’s right here!” This doesn’t always work, but I try.
4. Use containers to get organized
Containers are the lazy-girl cleaning hack that makes anything look more organized. That jumble of beauty products under your bathroom sink? The kitchen cabinet that’s stuffed to the brim with snacks? All you have to do is add a few containers and boom! You’re organized. Purchase a set of matching containers for a cohesive look, then sort items by category. For example, use one bin for skincare, another for makeup, and a third for haircare.
5. Combine cleaning with your favorite media
This is one of the oldest cleaning hacks in the book, but here’s the trick to making it work: Whatever activity you choose (listening to a true-crime podcast, turning on your favorite feel-good TV show, etc.), make it something you only do while cleaning. That way, it acts as a sort of incentive. Want to know what happens in the latest episode? Better get cleaning, girl.
6. Make cleanup part of your daily routine
One of my favorite lazy-girl cleaning hacks is to pad in a few extra minutes for cleaning throughout your daily schedule. You can get a lot done in a small chunk of time once it’s a part of your routine. A couple of ideas: At the end of the workday, straighten up your workspace before you get up from your desk. After dinner, make time to hand-wash your dishes or load up the dishwasher before you flop on the couch. When you turn off the TV or close your book for the night, take a moment to reset your living room and make it look put together again. By routinely chipping away at small cleaning tasks every day, you’ll save yourself from having to do an intensive deep clean later.